Skip to main content

Full text of "Long Lance"

See other formats


LONG    LANCE

lodge for us and Instruct us in all of the famous
dances of our tribe: the War-Dance, the Eagle
War-Dance, the Ghost-Dance, the Medicine-
Dance, the Chiefs5 Dance, the Pony War-Dance,
the *I Saw3 Dance and the Scalp-Dance.

We favoured the Eagle War-Dance more than
any other, because it had a spirit of contest at the
end of it. Whenever we wanted to hold this
dance we had to go out into a bluff and find an
eagle's nest, and then cut down a small tree and
lug them both back to camp with our ponies.
We would then skin the tree, paint it red, and
remove all of the branches except a few at the top.
In these remaining branches we would tie the
eagle's nest and leave it dangling at the end of a
small string. Then we would plant the tree in
the centre of the lodge and make a square around
it with the branches.

Now we would dig a hole inside this square,
and the boy given the dance would get into it with
his tom-tom. When the dance was ready to start
this boy would commence pounding his tom-tom
and singing. He would sing slowly for a time,
and then when he started to sing fast we would all
come into the lodge dancing and holding our
bows and arrows above our heads.

We danced around and around the tree until
the boy in the hole suddenly stopped singing;
then we all raised our bows and started shooting

54